Wednesday, April 5, 2006

The Nanny State

In today's America the government attempts to advise, guide or outright force its citizens to do what it believes is best for the nation. Often, this conflicts with what is best for the individual. These are not the ideals this country was founded upon. Our nation's founders came from a very oppressive British monarchy. They envisioned a nation in which the rights of the individual are paramount. It is very hard to reconcile that ideal with the state of the union today.

When the government decided to act as a protector and caregiver of citizens it started a slippery slope. Today there is a mix of capitalism and socialism in America that is disturbing to say the least. When a government is permitted to act in a caregiver role, it is inevitable that it will begin to assume a parental one. It is indisputable that many social programs help people, but they also have severe consequences.

I will use housing projects as an example. Many people need affordable housing. Housing projects have done a great deal to help this situation. The problem is, most if not all housing projects nationwide have conduct codes. In San Francisco for example, if you move your family into a housing project, and your son or daughter is convicted of any drug crime, you can be evicted. I don't know how often this happens, but the fact that it does is very disturbing. Imagine an individual wanting to buy an expensive house in a subdivision governed by a homeowner's association. If a prerequisite to buying that house was that you agree to a conduct code that did not have anything to do with home values or quality of living, no one would live there.